Broken Tennessee Treaties

One of our subscribers, Don, spotted this great site provided by the Tennessee State Museum.  Thanks Don.

On the site itself, there is additional information, but what struck me was the visual representation of what happened to the Indian lands in Tennessee in the short time between 1770 and 1835 when the Indians were forcibly removed on the Trail of Tears.  That is only a total of 65 years from complete ownership to forced removal via 12 broken treaties.

The first treaty actually preceeded 1770 by 7 years. The Proclamation of 1763 reserved all of Tennessee for the Indians, as shown below.

1763 map

The slippery slope of land cession began in Tennessee in 1770 when the Proclamation of 1763 was broken.

So, without further words, just look for yourself.  Land owned by the Indians is orange, land owned by the settlers is blue and land being ceded in this treaty by the Indians to the settlers is green.

1770                Treaty of Lochabar

Broken 1

1775                Treaty of Sycamore Shoals

broken 2

1777                Treaty of Long Island of Holston

broken 3

1785                Treaty of New Hopewell

broken 4

1791                Treaty of Holston

broken 5

1798                First Treaty of Tellico

broken 6

1805                Third Treaty of Tellico & Chickasaw Cession

broken 7

1806                Treaty of Washington

broken 8

1817                Jackson and McMinn Treaty

broken 9

1818                Jackson Purchase

broken 10

1819                Calhoun Treaty

broken 11

1835                Treaty of New Echota

broken 12

Thank you to the Tennessee State Museum for creating the maps and allowing noncommercial, educational use.


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Cherokee, Maps, Tennessee, Treaty. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Broken Tennessee Treaties

  1. 122112oboy says:

    I enjoy your posts even though some are so sad. You might find this mans work also enlightening. and his blog,

  2. Barbara Erickson says:

    BEAUTIFUL! Thank you! This fits right in with family histories my grandmothers told me! i.e.: that many Indian families went deep into the Smoky Mountains as problems arose and stayed there until many years after the Trail of Tears was over. When they emerged, they mixed with the colonists and appeared on the lists as “white”. Most never wanted to admit to Indian blood. And THAT is why we East Tennesseans can never find our drop of Indian blood unless it is possible through DNA.

  3. Donna says:

    I have to say that I have enjoyed exploring this site. I am in the process of trying to find my family heritage and get to the point of finding my great grand father was adopted. I can tell you that we are native american simply by our apperance. I would be grateful for any help of prove it. I really need to know where to get information about American Indian families in Tennessee. Thanks you and I will be visiting again.

  4. Pingback: 5,500 Year Old Native Grandmother Found Using DNA | Native Heritage Project

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  6. Pingback: Broken Tennessee Treaties | 1bedouin

  7. Thank you for mentioning my book: Trespassers on our own land. I researched the information for over five years before I wrote the book. It was a very sad period for me and my friend Juan Valdez to find out exactly how the federal government treated the west in general and New Mexico territory specifically.
    Unfortunately, Juan passed away just six months after the book was published.
    I grew up in the county where this all took place and had no idea how bad the Hispanic, Indian and Mexican settlers had been treated in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Unfortunately, the government’s actions have resulted in lasting scars on the descendants.
    Thanks again for mentioning Trespassers and the BlogSpot.
    I took a special interest in your presentation as I was shipped off my senior year in high school to Lebanon, Tennessee to Castle Heights Military Academy which as you know was closed many years ago. And, I was born in Russellville, KY, but removed to New Mexico when I was just a year and a half old.
    Your research of the Tennessee history is great.
    Mike Scarborough
    Santa Fe, NM

  8. John L. Davis says:

    I need to find information about the American Aborigine living in the tri-state region of Tennessee,
    Alabama and Mississippi during the period when the Treaty of Hopewell was signed.

  9. Ralna D Cunningham says:

    This is very thought provoking, as I try to piece together the history of my ggg grandmother Martha Angeline Horn(e) Reddell or Riddle who married in Lawrence County, TN 1844. This county on the border with Alabama and close to Mississippi, according to the map here, would have been witness to the forced removals. David Crockett who protested the Removal Act was here early on.
    In her household in 1850 census were two people designated Indian: Wm Horne age 18 and Jane Hughs age 16. They may have been relatives or simply farm labor.

    Her parents are disputed. One of the candidates John Horn is said to have died in Camden AR 1848 (I haven’t seen a record), while his widow Nancy remained in Lawrence County with their children. That is a location on the removal map route. Her sister Elizabeth, who lived adjacent, lost her husband Thomas Horn, between 1830 and 1840 census and is referred to as a widow in her father’s civil war pension deposition 1842. I need to find out what happened to this Thomas Horn as his land went to John Horn, the other sister’s husband, then his widow, Nancy for some reason. Both men were in the county by 1826 according to the tax list. They don’t seem to be brothers, related perhaps. The sisters came from NC. Other Horn(e) families were in Giles County nearby.

    My Martha Angeline Horn Reddell moved with her husband to Arkansas before 1860 as did many kin. Her oldest daughter moved to Indian Territory between 1775 and 1878 (based on births of children), and was on the 1900 census in Choctaw Nation with her family. There is an application rejection in 1905 with the name Nancy Pruitt but not sure if it is the same person and it mentions her ancestor is one of the “old settlers”. I don’t have a smidge of Native American DNA showing in my autosomal “heritage” so I’ve never thought about the Indian removals much. It may have washed out by now. Even if John Horn or Thomas Horn is not my ancestor, I’d like to know what happened to them.

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